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"Outside the Box" High School English for the Reluctant, Creative, & Terrified 1

Class
Play
"Mr. J." (Jeremy Ballard)
Popular
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(84)
This is an alternative to traditional HS English courses, focusing on literary analysis through film, graphic novels, and spoken word poetry. The course is project-based, classes discussion-based. Perfect for reluctant and creative learners

Class experience

US Grade 9 - 12
Beginner - Advanced Level
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
Aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
In this course students will…
-determine theme;
-analyze plot and its various phases;
-examine how literary elements affect plot progression, assist in character development, and convey meaning, including: motif, symbol, foreshadowing, echoing, flashback, opposition, metaphor, irony, foil, choice of language; 
-understand the mono-myth (Hero’s Journey), The Heroine’s Journey, The Villain’s Journey, and character archetypes;
-develop an understanding of modern pop-culture.

This course provides opportunities to for students to develop the following skills:
1.Explain the function of character.
2.Explain the function of setting.
3.Explain the function of plot and structure.
4.Explain the function of the narrator or speaker.
5.Explain the function of word choice, imagery, and symbolism.
6.Explain the function of comparison.
7.Develop textually substantiated arguments about interpretations of a portion or whole text.
Credentialed teacher with almost 20 years of experience in education. Certified AP English teacher, forensics coach(speech and debate), with an extensive background in drama.  I have taught in multiple states in the U.S. and spent three years teaching in China.  I am traveler, chef, poet, and storyteller, specializing in writing instruction, literary analysis, creative projects, and above all, building student teacher relationships.
Homework Offered
Students will be expected to watch movies as assigned and complete the accompanying movie worksheet (typically one movie each week). During non-film weeks, students will be expected to complete a weekly reading assignment instead. Reading in this class is minimal, and will be either in the form of a graphic novel or short stories. Students may begin reading or watch films in advance if they wish. In addition, once our poetry unit is complete, students will be tasked with watching 1-3 spoken word poems each week or reading 1-3 poems, and completing the poetry response worksheet. All projects must also be completed at home. Students are encouraged to join a weekly study hall session so that they may work together on homework assignments and get extra assistance from me when needed.
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
In lieu of formal exams, this course will use essays and projects as the primary form of student assessment. Projects must be submitted on the date due. Work submitted after the deadline may not be evaluated or scored. Students failing to submit a final project shall earn an "incomplete."
Grades Offered
Students shall be evaluated overall by a combination of engagement, progression, and learning. Rather than waste time on trivial grading, much of the work in this course is designed as exercises in order to promote student development. Students that are actively engaged and put forth the effort will excel with the assessments. That being said, it is the finish product that is more important when it comes to student assessment. Students shall maintain all work as assigned in a digital folder or physical notebook. As most assignments are designed as practice exercises, these will typically be scored as credit/no credit based on effort and completion. Daily assignments and regular homework will be kept in this file and submitted for scoring at the end of the trimester. Students keeping a physical copy rather than a digital copy must submit their work in photograph form as a slideshow. In lieu of formal exams, this course will use essays and projects as the primary form of student assessment. Projects must be submitted on the date due. Work submitted after the deadline may not be evaluated or scored. Students failing to submit a final project shall earn an "incomplete." All assignments will be graded based on the 5-point scale, then weighted appropriately. The 5-point scale: A=5 (4.5-5): Far surpasses all standards and expectations B=4 (3.5-4.4): above average, exceeds standard C=3 (2.5-3.4): Meets standard expectations and requirements D=2 (1.5-2.4): Needs improvement/meets some expectations but falls below standard F= 1 (0-1.4): Does not meet standard expectations 0=0: did not turn in or did not complete Weighting (per trimester) 30% Engagement and effort 20% Homework/daily assignments (Trimester folder) 20% Mini project 30% Final Project (A note on grading: My classes are designed to be easy to pass provided students put forth the effort; however, I do not grade easily. I expect my students to always give me their best effort, but quality of a finished product and assessment of learning, knowledge, and understanding require more than just effort. In other words, I am an easy C, but a hard A.)
Students must acquire their own access or copies of the following:

Book
“Superman: Birthright,” by Mark Waid (Graphic Novel)
Poetry to be provided

Films
“Dead Poet’s Society”
“The Princess Bride”
“Star Wars: A New Hope
“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”
“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”
“The Shawshank Redemption” [R]
“Superman” (1978)
“The Great Gatsby” (2013)
“A Raisin in the Sun”
A Spiderman movie, student choice
“Rudy”
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
This course is designed for mature students and some of the films do have an "R" rating. In most cases this is due to mature themes, strong language, and/or violence. Sexual content is minimal or nonexistent in most films, and usually in form of language or off-screen, rather than graphic imagery. Parents should preview films prior to student viewing. we will be approaching these films as works of literature, paying close attention to theme, plot, character development, and symbolism, so in most cases the "R" elements will not be discussed heavily, but at times it will be necessary.  If parents object to any of the "R" rated films, students are then encouraged, under the guidance of parents, to research and read film summaries online so that they are at least somewhat familiar with the film's story structure and characters to help facilitate class discussion and analysis.  "R" rated films are noted in the course description for the entire year, then noted again in the parental guidance section for each trimester. Films not noted as "R" hold a PG or PG-13 rating. Parents should review all course material prior to enrolling and are encouraged to ask any questions that they may have about the source material, as individual sensitivities are always liable to vary.

"R" Rated film in Trimester  1
“The Shawshank Redemption” [R]



 
Book
“Superman: Birthright,” by Mark Waid (Graphic Novel)
Poetry to be provided

Films
“Dead Poet’s Society”
“The Princess Bride”
“Star Wars: A New Hope
“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”
“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”
“The Shawshank Redemption” [R]
“Superman” (1978)
“The Great Gatsby” (2013)
“A Raisin in the Sun”
A Spiderman movie, student choice
“Rudy”
Popular
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(84)
Profile
"I am not the teacher that you are looking for," as I wave my hand ever so slightly.

I will not fill your students with rainbows and sunshine. I am not super high tech in the computer age. I don't offer fluff and I have no gimmicks. No puppies,... 
Group Class

$24

weekly or $336 for 14 classes
1x per week, 14 weeks
70 min

Completed by 24 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 14-18
4-16 learners per class

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